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New member
Mar 7, 2006
Hi there. I have been a guest here for a while and I first just want to say that you are a resilient group of supportive people who are lucky to have found each other.

I'm hoping that you might be able to offer some insight for me.

I am a 40 yr. old female in generally good health. I have been having the following "symptoms" over the past year and am only now starting to get worried:

- widespread twitches for past year - fleeting and ususally only last for a second or so. They can happen anywhere in my body but I don't think they have been in my hands, face or tongue
- sore wrists - for a long time but getting progressively worse - only when I put weight on them - like to push myself out of bed
- weak wrists - for past 6 months - only when I have to pick up something that requires a wide grip - this is getting progressively worse
- numbness in my fingers - especially on the left side
- my general hand strenth is quite good and I feel very strong
- constant burning in my shoulders and neck (stress!)

The weak, sore wrists drove me to my family Dr. She did a thorough exam - xrays, blood work to look for rheumatoid arthritis - these were normal. This week she sent me to a physiotherapist. He did a thorough exam and said he did not really see any waekness but he noticed atrophy in my hand muscles. He said this atrophy is likely causing the remaining muscles to work over-time making them sore. He also examined the mobility in my spine and said it was very stiff. This could cause inadequate nerve stimulation in my hand and the atrophy.

Should I be pushing my Dr. to look into what the physio saw as atrophy? Does anyone know what hand atrophy looks like? He pointed out the area just below my thumb - when I move my thumb I have a bulge with an indent in it (sorry for the crude description!). Can you have visible atrophy without a decrease in grip strength?

I started researching the twitches some time ago and found ALS. Needless to say, when the physio said the words "hand atrophy" I almost fainted from sheer panic!

Thanks to any insight you might be able to offer.

Worried -

Welcome to the forum.

There is a fairly recent thread all about hand atrophy including some pictures and a number of folks commenting on their experiences. If you browse a little you should be able to find it.

As to your other question - at this point I think you'd be wanting to see a neurologist for a full work up.

Hi worried. This is avery confusing time when you have lots of different symptoms and lots of possibilities for the conditions which cause them. I am in the same boat and can only say that the best way to deal with this is keep busy and remain calm while the doctors do all the tests. Here's hoping they will find a cause other than ALS!
Hi worried. I put the hand atrophy pictures at the top of the threads for this topic. Hope they help and welcome to the forum. AL.
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